At the start of every quarter, lines extend out the door of the Bellevue College bookstore with people waiting to purchase and pick up their required textbooks. However, along with tuition, the rising cost of textbooks is a growing concern among students. Students are now finding alternative ways of purchasing and selling textbooks. From utilizing social media channels to posting ads on the student bulletin boards, Bellevue College students are finding creative solutions to ease the financial strain.
The BC bookstore is a convenient place to purchase textbooks for classes. Students can expect to find the exact editions of the books they need for every class. Books can be purchased on campus at the bookstore, as well as online. Ordering ahead of time gives students the option of having textbooks delivered to their doorstep.
“I don’t find the markup to be too high, especially when I rent my books. Renting is often less expensive than the alternatives,” said student Tara Marinig.
The internet is another popular alternative. Amazon, Halfbooks.com and even Craiglist allow students to purchase their books inexpensively.
“I don’t think the convenience of a campus bookstore is worth it. Because I order so many books and do it so early, I get them shipped right to my house. [It’s] much more convenient,” said Jessica Salbador.
BC also has a program where students can sell their textbooks back to the school for cash. The books the school buys are then sold at discounted prices for students looking to purchase used books. However, the program does not always accept every edition or text. Students are finding that textbooks are changing every other quarter, preventing students on tight budgets from participating.
“In several quarters at Bellevue College I have purchased over 25 texts and they are all kept in pristine condition so I can have the school buy them back. But out of those several quarters I have been able to get cash back for about five to six books,” said Chris Burks, student.
Many students are selling their textbooks directly to other students. There is even a student-created BC Facebook group. Students post books they are looking for, as well as ones they are selling and willing to trade.
“I can make more money selling independently but I’ve found this quarter that seeking out buyers is more beneficial, as I quickly sold textbooks by responding to wanted ads on bulletin boards, or by checking the schedule for classes I have the books to sell to students who might still need them,” said Haley Steffen.Textbook shopping is like any other form of shopping.With a little research and communication, there are countless ways to stretch a dollar even when it comes to education.